Sp. Pl. 1: 42. 1753.


Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 26. 1754.

Common names: Blackhead sedge
Etymology: Greek schoinos, rushlike plant
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 23. Treatment on page 239. Mentioned on page 6, 7.

Herbs, perennial, cespitose, rhizomatous. Culms distally branched, terete. Leaves basal; ligules absent; blades involute or subcylindric. Inflorescences terminal, sometimes pseudolateral, capitate [diffusely branched]; spikelets (1–)10–25, black or very dark purple; involucral bracts 1–2, spreading or erect, leaflike. Spikelets: scales 3–8, distichous, black or very dark purple, 2–3 proximal scales empty, distal scales each subtending flower. Flowers bisexual; perianth bristles 0–6, shorter or longer than achene, smooth or scabrous; stamens 3; styles deciduous, linear, 3-fid. Achenes rounded-trigonous to subterete.


Worldwide in warm-temperate and tropical regions.


Species ca. 80 (1 in the flora).

Schoenus is restricted mostly to Australasia; a few species occur in Africa, Eurasia, and the New World.

Lower Taxa